Getting there

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Magnus and I on the MV Nieuw Amsterdam

This is my first visit in my role as Fleet Captain. I am travelling with the outgoing Fleet Captain Magnus Bengttsonj to get a handover. This role will take me around various ships in the Carnival Corporation and not just Seabourn ships. In fact it is highly likely that I will spend more time on ships outside the Seabourn fleet. There are three Seabourn ships and 101 others.I have been seconded for two years to the Carnival Corporation along with a number of other Captains from across the brands to ride the ships offering advice and assistance to Captains and bridge teams on our bridge procedures and getting their feedback. I guess you could say it is rather like a check pilot with the airlines.

I have already attended some training at our simulator centre in Almere were all the new Fleet Captains including yours truly received some coaching so that we are all aligned and take the same messages around our fleets. More on that amazing place in future blogs.

After that we convened at Fort Lauderdale in the USA where, with the Fleet Chief Engineers and various Operations Director from the various brands we discussed the next year and our various strategies.

From there I flew off to joint the Nieuw Amsterdam of Holland America Line with the outgoing Fleet captain Magnus Bengtsson for a familiarisation trip in my new role.

The trip to Civitavecchia was a little interesting. I flew United to Newark and onto Rome. It was ok. Nothing special and a long way behind Emirates Business class from a comfort and service point of view.On arrival to Rome airport you find you are some distance away from the city. There is a good train link though. 22 Euros gets you the non stop train that takes 30 minutes. 11 Euros gets you the local stopper that takes more than hour. I paid the 11 Euros and got pinged by the conductor. I did not realise the difference as I just jumped on the train that had Rome Central as its destination. I was relieved of a further 11 Euros.I would avoid given a choice.

Now Rome Central station is somewhere.I could not find any information about a train to Civitavecchia. What information is shown is poor and shows the final destinations only. So I enquired of a young lady wearing an ‘ask me for information’ badge. As I was talking to her a young man passed by and said, “attention, watch your bags” and he kept walking. Once the young lady had helped me get my ticket and show me the correct platform she then started asking me for money and was extremely persistent. Be warned. I thought she was station staff. She was not. I saw quite a few of the people all wearing the same badges milling about.

I made it to Civitavecchia and stayed in the Hotel De la Ville. Its an impressive but faded pile not 3 minutes walk from the railway station. In its day it must have been something. Now it is a bit of a relic from bygone days. It was comfortable for a night.

Next morning I took the shuttle bus from the station to the cruise terminal for the prickly sum of €2.00.

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Hotel de La Ville, Civitavecchia.

Mark Dexter 2015